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Reports: Paul Pogba unhappy with new role as Manchester United open talks with Mauricio Pochettino

Solskjaer is feeling the heat at Manchester United.
Solskjaer is feeling the heat at Manchester United.
ANALYST
Modified 16 Oct 2020, 21:27 IST
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Paul Pogba hates operating in a deeper position at Manchester United and is unhappy with his role in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team, according to reports.

The Red Devils have also reportedly begun talks with Mauricio Pochettino, who is currently available for the job, as the Norwegian feels the heat at Old Trafford.

However, it is Pogba’s role in the team that is under scrutiny again. The Frenchman rejoined Manchester United from Juventus in the summer of 2016, in a record-breaking deal which cost the Red Devils an astronomical £94.5m. Pogba was expected to kick start the renaissance at Old Trafford after transforming into one of the brightest midfielders in the world at Turin.

However, the Frenchman has endured an underwhelming 4 years at Manchester United, where his off-field controversies have gathered more attention than his performances on the pitch.

After reports of a fall-out with previous manager Jose Mourinho, Pogba seemed to have finally hit his form under Solskjaer at the beginning of 2019. The Frenchman played some of his best football for Manchester United during the Norwegian’s ‘caretaker’ period but has failed to replicate that form ever since.

After an injury-riddled 2019/20 season, where he watched Bruno Fernandes deservedly take all the plaudits, the Frenchman has struggled this season as well and continues to play second fiddle to Bruno Fernandes. The player personally believes his current position on the pitch is the root of all his problems.

Pogba wants to play higher up in the pitch for Manchester United

Pogba (R) hates operating in a withdrawn role at Manchester United.
Pogba (R) hates operating in a withdrawn role at Manchester United.

Pogba did not help Manchester United when he resumed his flirtation with Real Madrid while on international duty. However, it now appears that the player’s unhappiness originates from his withdrawn role on the pitch.

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Pogba apparently hates the role he is having to carry out for Manchester United and believes that he works best when he is allowed to operate higher up the field.

That would mean that Solskjaer would have to drop one Pogba or Bruno Fernandes from the Manchester United team because both want to play in the same position.

Pogba has been used in a similar role by Solskjaer, and while the Frenchman has been good, his presence on the field doesn't measure up to the impact that Bruno Fernandes has had on the team. The Portuguese is at the heart of the Manchester United team and it is hard to imagine the Frenchman replicating Bruno’s work ethic on the pitch.

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But there’s another angle to the whole story. The Manchester United hierarchy are reportedly eyeing their options after 2 defeats in the first 3 games of the new season. The Red Devils have paved the way to initiate talks with Pochettino’s representatives amid growing concerns over the Norwegian.

The Argentinean was Manchester United’s preferred choice to replace Jose Mourinho before Solskjaer burst onto the scene in a caretaker role. Pochettino has been away from football management for the last 12 months but could still have a few admirers within the Manchester United hierarchy.

Manchester United’s game against Newcastle United has turned into a do-or-die affair for the Norwegian. A win might buy him a little more time, but a third loss in 4 games could spell the end for the United manager.

The question is, will Solskjaer grant Pogba’s wish to play in a more attacking role at Manchester United with his job on the line?

Published 16 Oct 2020, 21:27 IST
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